Can someone explain me the poisonous atmosphere in this site? Why reasonable answers get downvotes?

I understand downvotes are required and good, but in some cases I see kind of personal attitude. Maybe I should ask this in some philosophy site, but what I see in most photography sites is exactly this poisoned atmosphere and behavior.

Here is one example answer (deleted) which by my understanding is not wrong and do not deserve downvote:

Two cameras have different sensors. Also they have different colour matrix - IPhone use Quad-Bayer, Fujifilm use X-Trans. And Apple and Fuji have different colour theories they implement in to the firmware. So a lot of differences.

About making same colour in Fujifilm camera seems quite complex and I have my doubts you can create same colour.

For reference this is the answer: https://photo.stackexchange.com/a/134820/34947

  • \$\begingroup\$ Related photo.meta.stackexchange.com/q/2499/61147 \$\endgroup\$
    – Chenmunka
    Apr 12 at 14:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Chenmunka, no. I do not argue against negative votes in general. I talk about negative votes which show specific attitude. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 12 at 14:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is a pretty nebulous question. I think we're going to need some examples for discussion. \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb Mod
    Apr 12 at 20:12
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Personally, I'm a serial upvoter for most things, unless they're seriously wrong or incorrect. \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb Mod
    Apr 12 at 20:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @scottbb, added example in the question. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13 at 4:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ You asked a similar question in Meta in 2015, when the site was much more active. \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb Mod
    Apr 13 at 16:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @scottbb, this just confirm my feelings :D \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13 at 16:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RomeoNinov I think confirmation bias is heavily in play here. But that's up to you to evaluate. \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb Mod
    Apr 13 at 16:46

1 Answer 1


I don't see how downvotes by themselves can convey a 'poisonous atmosphere' or toxicity. Voting is the mechanism by which answers are elevated or lowered with respect to each other for a given question (with the default sorting), and also the mechanism that elevates or diminishes the visibility and community consensus of the usefulness of questions.

It seems impossible to me that negative votes show specific attitude. That would be shown by comments to questions and answers; sometimes in competing answers that have to contradict or criticize other answers (hopefully, for their incorrectness); and rarely, in questions themselves that are worded poorly, defensively, or combatively (which usually reflects a meta-issue, not the question topic itself).

Remember, the meaning of the voting buttons themselves (revealed by hovering over the buttons:


⇧ This question shows research effort; it is clear and useful
⇩ This question does not show research effort; it is unclear or is not useful


⇧ This answer is useful
⇩ This answer is not useful

That's it. That's what the votes mean, in Stack Exchange. Any other mapping of meaning on top of that is inferring something that wasn't implied in the design.

In order to provide guidance for improvement, it would be nice if downvoters provided a comment explaining how the downvoted answer or question could be improved; regardless, explanations for downvotes are specifically not required.

  • \$\begingroup\$ As you can see my answer was the first and I (if I had such intention of course) can't criticize other answers. Moreover by my understanding my answer give specific point of view and reasons for the difference between two images. Still think this is something personal or specific attitude. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13 at 15:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ So someone think my answer is not useful... And nobody think is useful. Hm, this mean there is something wrong with the environment in this site. Because the other reason I get in mind is most of (active) users of the site are ignorants (which IMHO is not true). \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13 at 16:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RomeoNinov I don't know the context of the answer you quoted in your Meta question. Without context (seeing the question, perhaps other comments), I don't believe toxicity or poisonous attitude can be inferred, at all. If you're seeing a pattern of downvoting on your, or another user's, Q's & A's, there might be a serial downvoter targeting you specifically. That's something to look into. \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb Mod
    Apr 13 at 16:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ I added in question reference to my answer (and question) \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13 at 16:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RomeoNinov So someone think my answer is not useful... And nobody think is useful. Hm, this mean there is something wrong with the environment in this site. I mean this as constructively, and as friendly, as possible, but there are other options beside "there is something wrong with the environment in this site." It's egocentric to jump to that specific conclusion, and not also consider "maybe my answer isn't great". At the very least, a single person probably thought your answer isn't great. How do you conclude it's a systemic issue with the site? \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb Mod
    Apr 13 at 16:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ This happen to me several times (over the years I am in this site). It's not to happen every day (or week), but it's not pleasant. My answer is not perfect. But neither other answers on the same questions are. But they do not have downvotes. This is the reason I start thinking there is something wrong. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13 at 16:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RomeoNinov But you're not really comparing similar answers, are you? Your answer is rather lean on information. One of the other answers has a link to a manual; the other answer goes into useful details for the questioner. Stephen's answer, at the minimum, serves as a jumping-off point to find more information, by being fairly information-rich by itself. Yours doesn't provide much to work with. \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb Mod
    Apr 13 at 16:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ I provide the base, give names so everyone can find the appropriate information about the things. Do you expect everyone to write War and peace (as some of users do). When you enter such (long) answer you have few negative points: 1. User will forget the begin when finish reading. 2. You press the user to adopt your opinion and your point of view instead of giving him/her starting point. 3. Long answers do not help (based on current UI) to see also the other answers. And to compare answers. You should intentionally scroll and scroll.... \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13 at 16:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RomeoNinov If that is your opinion and approach towards writing answers, so be it. That is definitely your choice, and your preference, and that's fine. But if you find yourself consistently at odds with, or not finding as much support from, the community you choose to participate in, at a certain point you have to wonder if the community has different expectations or preferences than you do. \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb Mod
    Apr 13 at 16:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hm, based on my experience with UNIX/Linux, StackOverflow, etc. answers which concentrate information in the text are quite appreciated. Maybe (just maybe) this community may reconsider/reevaluate own criterias. I know communities differ from each other, but seems like this one have opposite ideas. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13 at 16:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RomeoNinov I don't know what to tell you. How does a community "reevaluate its own criteria"? Voting is anonymous. Communities are a combination of moderation (which is quite hands off here) and developed or organically grown customs, norms, mores, and memes (in the classic sense; not internet "memes"). What would you have the community do, or do differently? And how much ability do you think community has to make those changes, compared to your similar/same question in 2015? \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb Mod
    Apr 13 at 17:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Scott, there are notes, rules, meta posts which can point the users to the acceptance criterias. But at the end I am not the owner of this site. Also my expertise is different so I can't give reasonable advice. But this can be raised to the attention of site management. Probably they can decide to change or not, what, how, etc. Thank you for the discussion :) \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13 at 17:15

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